The Skinny on Statistics I've read the Ultimate Crossword Puzzle (July 2003) article. Well done. My question is this: Do you have unit sales by product

The Skinny on Statistics

I've read the “Ultimate Crossword Puzzle” (July
2003) article. Well done. My question is this: Do you have unit
sales by product category available? We are a medical device
manufacturer and that information would help us in our planning
Barry A. Schwartz, president, Contemporary Products
Inc., Portland, Maine

Editor's Note: While HomeCare does not have the
specific information requested, the Centers for Medicare and
Medicaid Services tracks the number of claims CMS paid for specific
products. In fact, CMS has a special hotline set up for providing
statistical information. The phone number for Medicare statistics
is 410/786-3689. We recommend knowing the HCPCS codes for the
products you want to track before calling.

A Fate Worse than Competitive Bidding?

As a small independent DME in Michigan, I have been struggling
with a situation that should be impacting every DME in the country.
We are being dumped into HMOs that are down-pricing almost all of
our invoicing. We have been informed that we must accept 20 percent
over our invoice costs, and [then] only if we provide copies of our
suppliers' invoices.

I can only wonder how many DMEs can operate on this margin.

As a small owner-operated company that tracks our costs, I know
that this does not cover our overhead. My question is, how many
DMEs can live with this margin and what can be done about it? Is
this something that we can collectively address?

We are notifying the carriers that we cannot accept this added
cost of paperwork and reduced pricing, and we are preparing to go
to the Small Claims Court for relief.

We feel that this is a greater problem for our industry than
competitive bidding.
Dale W. Richardson, president, R&R Discount Medical,
Kalamazoo, Mich.

52% of respondents to HomeCare's August Web Poll said
they would freeze employees' salaries if a seven-year CPI freeze on
DME takes effect. Another 18 percent said they might freeze

E-mail your letters to Editor-in-Chief Gail Walker at